(Names changed to protect identity)
The lady of the bar
It was year 2013 and I was working on my debut book, The Ribbon Trap. In the midst of the writing, a writer’s block materialised from nowhere. My heroine had met with a stalemate.
I decided to go on an aimless bike ride. But every aimless journey actually has an aim. My bike went straightaway to Maria Ratna’s bar in Vaddem, Goa. She had three children, two girls and a boy. I was the only customer there. Maria welcomed me with a smile.
“At times, we must be alone to listen to our soul,” I said, thinking.
I was not sure whether she understood me or not. She nodded and went inside to get my regular combination, Goan cashew feni and Leppo rava fry. I decided to ask the question I’d been wanting to ask her since long.
“You have a unique name!” I smiled. “Maria is a typical Christian name and Ratna a Hindu one,” I said as she returned.
She nodded, sitting down at the counter.
“Is there any specific reason?” I waited for a second. “Or it’s just normal.”